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Florida Circle of Parents E-Newsletter


Back to School! 


Books and appleIt's hard to believe but it is school time again! So, how do we make the switch from summer to school? Here are some tips to help you make the switch: 

  1. Restart Routines: All children need time to adjust so plan ahead. A week before school starts, make bedtime earlier and start serving meals at the same time you will during the school year.
  2. Set Ground Rules: Determine when and where your child will do his/her homework; what chores your child will be doing, when he/she can watch TV or play on the computer and how late your child may stay up at night. Be sure to discuss this with your child so that everybody has a clear understanding on the expectations.
  3. Don't stress over Dressing: Review the dress code with your child and help him/her to pick out several outfits that your child is happy with and meets the requirements.
  4. Develop a Plan for the New School Year: Discuss with your child what goals she/he might want to reach this school year and make a list of them. These can be as simple as, making two new friends this year, improving a skill or two such as reading or writing or participating in the spelling bee!
  5. Setup a Homework Area: Create a quiet, well- lit and most importantly fun area for study without distractions and provide the necessary supplies your child needs, such as paper, pencil, and dictionary.
  6. Stay Informed: Talk with your child's teacher and keep the communication all year long. Make sure you know what your child is learning in school, provide guidance for homework assignments if needed and be involved in school activities as much as you can.
  7. Plan Healthy Lunches: As you prepare to send your child back to school, remember that nutrition is an important factor in academic success. Research shows that children who eat healthy and balanced meals are more alert and perform better than those who have an unhealthy diet.
  8. Check-Ups and Immunizations: Most schools require your child's immunization shots are up to date. Contact your child's school to find out what might be required, ask for the forms and have your healthcare provider to fill out and sign.
  9. Financial Assistance for Families: There are several programs and resources available to ease the financial burden of going back to school, including low cost lunches and affordable health insurance. Find out if your family qualifies for the National School Lunch Program at the following website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/ or if your family qualifies for subsidized health care at the following website: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/state/index.html
  10. Keep a sense of humor: Show your kids a picture of yourself when you were in elementary, middle and/or high school. This usually makes kids laugh and it's a good way to remind them that school is fun! 
Tips to Promote Social-Emotional Health among Young Children
  • Catch your child being good! Praise your child often for even small accomplishments like playing nicely with brothers and sisters, helping to pick up toys, waiting her turn, or being a good sport.
  • Find ways to play with your child that you both enjoy every day. Talk with your child, tell stories, sing and make rhymes together. It is especially important to try and reconnect for a few minutes after separations. Include some type of regular physical activity such as a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.
  • Seek ways for your child to play with other children of the same age.
  • Read with your child every day as part of a special family routine. Turn off the TV before the evening meal, have conversations with your children during the meal, get baths/showers after the meal, and read books with your children in preparation for bedtime. This will help children to settle down and sleep well at the end of the day.
  • Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours daily for children 2 and older. Never put a TV in a child's bedroom. Parents should watch along with older children and try to put the right spin on what their children are seeing. Young children should not be exposed to violence on TV, including on the news. TV should not become a babysitter.
  • Make time for a routine that includes regular family meals when parents and children can sit and talk about their day together. Play the "high-low" game by taking turns sharing the best and not-so-good parts of the day.
  • Provide regular bedtime routines to promote healthy sleep. This time of the day can become an oasis of calm and togetherness in the day for parents and children.
  • Model behaviors that you want to see in your child. Parents are their child's first and most important teachers, and what they do can be much more important than what they say. Be especially careful of criticizing teachers or other trusted adults in front of the child.
  • Be consistent with limits for your child and encourage all caretaking adults to use the same rules. If you must enforce a rule, do this with supportive understanding. Don't give in, but do quickly forgive. Do not hold a grudge for past mistakes. Encourage learning from mistakes so that they do not happen again.

Welcome Our New Florida Circle of Parents Groups 

This summer we are adding four new parent/caregiver support groups. One of the groups is sponsored by the Family of Faith Community Church and the Circuit 1 Department of Juvenile Justice in Ft. Walton Beach. The Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler/Volusia has sponsored three new Community Cafes: PYRAMID Community Café of Daytona Beach, Deltona, and Edgewater. The Community Café model being implemented in Volusia County is an innovative model designed to provide places where families can gain social, technological and concrete support in setting and accomplishing goals to strengthen their families and be contributing members of the community. We welcome these new groups to our Florida Family of Circle of Parents.

Parent Helpline Program Is No Longer In Service

As of July 1, 2012 the Statewide Parent Helpline program is no longer in service. For local information and referrals please call 2-1-1 or 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Fatherhood Research

Dad with baby  


Two fascinating pieces of research about father involvement were recently published.

"Mr. Mom's not a wimp; he's just being natural" deals with testosterone levels in fathers and non-fathers. 

"The power of love: Nurturing children has benefits for brain, general well-being" discusses physical changes in the brain of children who receive nurturing versus those who do not.



Survey for 2012 Pinwheels for Prevention Publication
Prevent Child Abuse Florida and the Department of Children and Families were pleased to provide you with the 2012 Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign Resource Packet and its publications this year. These publications were created to support a wide range of service providers who work with parents, other caregivers and their children with the common goal of strengthening families. We hope these publications supported you in your efforts to strengthen Florida's families and assisted you in the implementation of the Pinwheels for Prevention™ public awareness campaign in your community to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Please complete the Pinwheels for Prevention Publication Survey at the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CAPmonthmaterials
Awaken to Change-The National Conference for America's Children
awaken to change logoShare your passion for healthy child development and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Join PCA America at Awaken to Change - The National Conference for America's Children, October 12-15, 2012, in beautiful Jacksonville, FL.


For more information on speakers, events and activities during the conference, please visit.

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To schedule an initial or refresher facilitator training, contact Training Specialist, Jean Gibson at jgibson@ounce.org or 850.921.4494 ext. 202